Pomeranz will be hands-on CEO at RiverSpring


David Pomeranz is no stranger to the halls of RiverSpring Living. Not just because he’s served as chief operating officer for the last 10 years, but also because he’s been working at the Hebrew Home at Riverdale — the organization’s crown jewel on Palisade Avenue — since 1985.

Pomeranz was studying at Manhattan College when a friend got him a job pushing wheelchairs at Hebrew Home. And he never left.

Now he’s set to take over as chief executive beginning Monday, succeeding the man who has led the organization for the past 35 years, Daniel Reingold.

“It started with wheelchair transport — which I like to tell people is the best job I ever had,” Pomeranz said. “Taking residents outside and reading to them and talking to them is why I fell in love with the place.”

And it’s also where he fell in love in other ways — this time with the woman who would ultimately become his wife. Later, their daughters would grow up playing bingo with Hebrew Home residents.

“It’s really all a sappy story,” Pomeranz said, with a chuckle. “It’s a fun story to tell.”

But now as he’s set to take over, Pomeranz doesn’t feel the need to re-invent the wheel.

“I feel the opportunity to make subtle changes along the way as I put my own fingerprints and stamp on an organization that’s running well,” he said.

And people who live and work around Hebrew Home and through RiverSpring’s numerous other services may not feel the Earth shake, because Pomeranz has already made his mark.

“Part of the key is that because (Pomeranz) has been COO and been (Reingold’s) right hand,” RiverSpring spokeswoman Laura Wilker said. “There’s not necessarily a revolution coming, it’s an evolution.”

His work today is focused heavily on integrating technology into RiverSpring, like AccuVein — a medical device that uses infrared to scan a patient’s arm for veins for anything requiring intravenous work. Other technology includes robots that serve food to tables.

Yet, that’s not all robots are doing. There’s also ZeroG, a mobility assistance robot, where a resident gets strapped into a harness attached to it, following a track along the ceiling designed to support their body weight as they work on regaining their mobility.

A lot of this technology was made possible through a $10 million donation from Rita Hauser, whose husband was cared for at Hebrew Home.

In all of his work with RiverSpring, Pomeranz says his proudest achievement is the partnership he created with the NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital.

“There’s a limit to what you can do,” Pomeranz said. “We provide really good care. But when you get to the point beyond where someone’s getting custodial care, when you need something advanced,” that is where the connection to the hospital works overtime to provide for the residents.

Outside the office, Pomeranz has taken up an appreciation for photography. He started during the pandemic with just photos of birds and animals on the Hebrew Home property.  And it’s something that he has incorporated into his approach of making the golden years of those who depend on the services of RiverSpring as solid as possible.

“It was calming for me,” he said. “It was a chance to go outside and to have fresh air, and I didn’t have to wear a mask and you could walk away from everybody and just see nature.

“In a time when the world was upside down, I think it was a big part of helping me to stay focused and grounded on the work we were doing here.”

Moving forward, Pomeranz hopes to promote fun and enjoyment at places like Hebrew Home because of the years many lost at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, when visitors were severely restricted and much of everything was shut down.

“I like to be very hands-on and accessible,” he said. “People think there’s this great divide between top management and line staff, and I really want to shrink that so people feel like there’s good dialogue. The great ideas come from the people that are doing the work, so I really want them to feel like there’s a voice that understands them.”

David Pomeranz RiverSpring Living Hebrew Home at Riverdale Chief Executive Evolutionary Changes Technology Integration NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital Partnership Covid-19 Pandemic Recovery Community Engagement Innovation